There’s nothing worse than discovering bad weather has been forecasted for your long-anticipated trip. The good news is, any weather condition can make for a great photo! With a little creativity, you can even use inclement weather to your advantage.
Jump to: Clouds, Fog, Rain, Snow, Wind
HOW TO SHOOT WHEN IT’S CLOUDY
Clouds are actually a photography blessing in disguise. They soften and diffuse sunlight, which is great for shooting portraits or dramatic landscapes. The tricky bit is getting enough light. Adjust your settings to ensure proper exposure by opening up your aperture to allow more light into your lens and slightly increasing your ISO.
If dark clouds are ruining your aesthetic, crop them out. You can create plenty of compositions without sky, like signage, food, and tight crops.
On the flip side, you can make the clouds your subject. Look for that magical spot where the sun’s rays burst through the clouds, creating an attractive point of contrast. If you shoot during the early morning or twilight, the light will take on a blue hue, which helps add contrast to an otherwise gray scene.
HOW TO SHOOT IN FOG
Foggy conditions may appear hopeless, but being inside of a giant cloud can create a really atmospheric shot. The plentiful water particles in the air redirect and scatter light, making it beautifully blurry and soft. Try shooting from a high vantage point above the fog for maximum effect.
Another way to use fog to your advantage is to include a strong object in the foreground. This will add depth and contrast. The closer the object is, the more vibrant it’ll appear. Fog can also be used as a “backdrop” to hide distracting elements around your subject, further isolating and focusing on it.
Like cloudy days, there is less (if any) direct light in heavy fog. Also, fog moves! To prepare for these circumstances, open your aperture to a wide setting (F4 or wider) to let more light in, and use a fast shutter speed (1/500 or faster) to capture the moving fog. Lastly, be prepared with napkins and microfiber cloth for condensation.
HOW TO SHOOT IN THE RAIN
Rain can transform an overshot landscape or subject into something fresh and creative. Consider a macro of raindrops on a flower, twig, or spider web for something different. Better yet, shoot your subject through the reflection of a puddle or out of a rain-streaked window.You can create a cool effect by using a shallow depth of field, which focuses on the rain drops and blurs the background.
You’ll just need to protect your gear to capture it. If you find yourself shooting in the rain often, you may want to invest in a weatherproof camera or lens in the future. Select Olympus OM-D cameras and M.Zuiko lenses are hermetically sealed to be splashproof, dustproof, and freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C), so you can take advantage of every photo opportunity in any environment.
HOW TO SHOOT IN THE SNOW
Snow becomes more visible in a photo when it’s backlit. To make snowflakes crystal clear, you need to shoot directly into the light. To capture snowflakes falling from the sky, use a shutter speed of 1/200 sec or faster to freeze the frame. Like in rain, be sure to protect your gear from water damage with a weatherproof camera.
HOW TO SHOOT WHEN IT’S WINDY
Take advantage of wind by focusing on the drama it creates. Keep your eyes peeled for flags, kites, turbines, swaying trees, dancing leaves, and whitecaps forming on the water.
To freeze the movement no matter how fast the wind blows, use a fast shutter speed (1/1000 sec or faster). If you prefer an artistic blur, shoot with a slower shutter speed. When you find something worth photographing, try to determine the direction the wind is blowing. So long as you aren’t compromising your composition, shoot with the wind at your back.